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SCI/TECH: Monkeys Adapt Robot Arm as Their Own

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posted on May, 17 2005 @ 01:58 PM
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Recently published findings show that the monkeys are not simply learning to use the robotic arm, but the brain structures are adapting to treat the arm as if it were their own appendage. The researchers led by neurobiologist Miguel Nicolelis of Duke's Center for Neuroengineering have published their findings in the May 11th edition of the Journal of Neuroscience. The Lead author on the paper was Mikhail Lebedev .
 



www.dukemednews.org
According to Nicolelis, the analysis revealed that, while the animals were still able to use their own arms, some brain cells formerly used for that control shifted to control of the robotic arm.

"Mikhail's analysis of the brain signals associated with use of the robotic and animals' actual arms revealed that the animal was simultaneously doing one thing with its own arm and something else with the robotic arm," he said. "So, our hypothesis is that the adaptation of brain structures allows the expansion of capability to use an artificial appendage with no loss of function, because the animal can flip back and forth between using the two. Depending on the goal, the animal could use its own arm or the robotic arm, and in some cases both.

"This finding supports our theory that the brain has extraordinary abilities to adapt to incorporate artificial tools, whether directly controlled by the brain or through the appendages" said Nicolelis. "Our brain representations of the body are adaptable enough to incorporate any tools that we create to interact with the environment. This may include a robot appendage, but it may also include using a computer keyboard or a tennis racket. In any such case, the properties of this tool become incorporated into our neuronal 'space'," he said. According to Nicolelis, such a theory of brain adaptability has been controversial.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The possible implications of this new tech/bio understanding is very promising indeed. The hope is that someday this sort of technology will help those who are paralyzed, amputees or suffer from other physically debilitating illnesses. Imagine, if you will, being able to replace 'faulty' body parts with robotic components that can be controlled by thought(as your limbs are now).

"In our new experiments, the idea is that by using vision and touch, we're actually going to create inside the brains of these animal a vivid perceptual image of what it is to have a third arm," Miguel Nicolelis


Imagine the possible 'abilities of convenience'. To be able to strap on tools or extra body parts that can be directly controlled by your brain. Indeed the possibilities seem endless, whether you want to help someone who is disabled, or for your own convenience. Imagine what the new and improved soldier might look like.




Related News Links:
www.jneurosci.org
www.dukemednews.org
www.caip.rutgers.edu
www.keelynet.com




posted on May, 17 2005 @ 04:26 PM
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I want extra arms!

This is amazing, soon people with missing limbs will be able to use new ones.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 06:48 AM
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The Cyborg cometh... it's only a matter of time


I think scientists are wasting there time trying to stifle the biological clock, there is no need! Just replace the body as it wears out. I am sure that in the near future one will be able to acutally sense the robotic apendages as well (better?) as the orginals...

hmmm bodes for some crazy sex (the posibilities are endless).



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 08:14 AM
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Originally posted by Rren
The possible implications of this new tech/bio understanding is very promising indeed.


Or very scary.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 08:30 AM
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Originally posted by RANT

Originally posted by Rren
The possible implications of this new tech/bio understanding is very promising indeed.


Or very scary.



Of course this new tech could be used for sinister purposes. But super soldiers and ninja death monkeys aside(probably in the works allready), i think this could be an incredible advancement for humans. Evolving by way of technology is interesting to say the least......or scary



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 04:01 PM
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Only scary for the Gov't
Sure at first they will have first dibs on the technology, but we are living in the Internet age, they won't be able to keep this stuff bottled up forever.

The Singularity is coming, I hope you're all ready.




I think scientists are wasting there time trying to stifle the biological clock, there is no need! Just replace the body as it wears out. I am sure that in the near future one will be able to acutally sense the robotic apendages as well (better?) as the orginals...


What about the brain? Can't completely replace that...

Frankely I cannot wait. I'm currently saving all the money I can for the day when I can get some parts replaced. Do I find it scary? Not in the slightest, this could be the equalizer we have been waiting for. Remember Cybernetics will follow a path similiar to Computing.

However if it's up to the current Bio-Conservatives like Leon Kass, it's your duty to die a horribly undignified death in some godforsaken Hospitol, allthough if you want to die you still can't as thats state-sanctioned murder.


[edit on 18-5-2005 by sardion2000]



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